Issue link: http://ailahub.aila.org/i/133801
"Pro bono service is important
to me because it gives me the
opportunity to come in contact
with individuals who desperately
need legal advice for their
complex immigration matter.
Having someone explain the
complexity of U.S. immigration
law and help them navigate
the system empowers these
individuals to begin formulating
a positive plan for their future.
Without the pro bono legal
services offered by ILAP and
its volunteer attorneys, these
individuals would struggle
through the process on their
WHY DO YOU PRO BONO? Share your story with us! E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"It is through all of my asylum clients' strength that
my legal practice is given a sense of purpose. I truly
believe that, as an attorney, it is my duty to give back
to the community and help those in need. It is a small
step toward increasing access to justice within the
United States. By undertaking pro bono asylum work, we
attorneys are able to effectuate a positive change, one
person at a time." ‑JA
CHAPTER HAPPENINGS: SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
CITIZENSHIP DAY: The Southern California Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (SOCAL AILA), again working closely with the
National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), held
its annual National Day of Citizenship on Saturday, May 4, 2013 at the Faithful Central Bible Church in Inglewood, California. In addition to NALEO, the
Los Angeles Legal Aid Society, Coalition for the Humane Immigrant Rights of
Los Angeles, the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, and other communitybased organizations co-hosted the event.
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During the event, Citizenship Day volunteers from SOCAL AILA, NALEO and
the other community-based organizations assisted 150 applicants with the
preparation and review of their naturalization applications and provided an
overview of the naturalization process, beginning with what to expect following submission of their applications to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration
Services (USCIS). Although the organizers had anticipated a larger turnout,
the smaller turnout ended up benefitting participants, as they were able to
proceed more quickly through each of the various stations.
Several SOCAL AILA members volunteered at the event, including Linda Nakamura, who summed up the spirit of the day. When asked why she decided
to volunteer, she replied, "I love helping people!" Some of the volunteers
and participants had the opportunity to speak with Phyllis A. Coven, District
Director of USCIS District 23, who stopped by the event.
In addition to the annual National Day of Citizenship, SOCAL AILA has worked
closely with NALEO and other community-based organizations for many years
and provides attorney volunteers for naturalization workshops on a near-monthly basis. Given the large geographical region covered by the Chapter, these
monthly events have provided volunteer opportunities to members not just in
Los Angeles, but in Orange and San Bernardino Counties as well.
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